Alaska 2011

Alaska 2011 Rally


 

Well, the time has come

We parted ways

From Florida to Alaska

In 100 days

The road was long

But worth the wait

I had a king salmon

Take my bait

The vistas amazing

Mountains, lakes, streams, and valley

The glaciers too many

Too many to tally

The rough terrain

Seen from a train

We floated, we boated

We took an airplane

We played, we laughed

I had a great time

Memories like this

Are hard to find

My thanks to Bob and Peggy

And Win for the fishin’

To Api, Stella, and Sunny

Just for the lickin’

Above all else

What’s important to me

Is that I shared it all

With my Trek family.

Harry McCain


The NW Trek Alaska 2011Rally, with ten TREKs ( 4 Florida, 3 Washington, 1 Arkansas, 1 Texas and 1 California), met in Barkerville, BC on June 9.  At Teslin Lake enough fish were caught for a Pot Luck BBQ. Hmmm, Yummy. They continued to Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway and then turned North to Dawson City. Then over the “Top Of The World” highway to Chicken, AK to pan for gold & a wonderful time. From there to Tok, AK to get TREKs serviced, washed etc.

Fairbanks was next with the Discovery Sternwheeler trip up the Chena River, the U of Alaska Museum, etc. The group threw a great Birthday Party for Bob on the 4th of July. No fireworks, as it never gets dark. Then on to Denali for an 8 hour trip through the Park, viewing much wildlife and beautiful scenery. On to Big Lake where 10 TREKs parked at Bob’s sister in law’s place for a wonderful Alaska experience fishing, jet skiing, boating, viewing Lee’s toy shop of giant ski machines and tracked vehicles, including a homemade trailer for the dogs when they go to the back country. Then came the scrumptious deep fried fresh halibut, BBQ’ ribs and salmon, with all the trimmings.

On to Anchorage with much shopping, museums, earthquake history, etc. Next was to Russian River where the black and brown bears were plentiful and the fish were scarce. On to Soldotna where they did a fly in fishing trip to Big River Lake where they limited with salmon, so another Salmon BBQ that night in Kenai.

The 2011 Alaska Rally wrapped up on August 12 in Hyder, AK.  They experienced only minor mechanical challenges and no tire problems.

May 21, 2011

Those of you traveling up the West Coast- and have time to visit Seattle:   On May 25-30 the Museum of Flight is hosting the “Cascade War Birds Fly In” where several WWll planes will be on display and for the right price you can get a flight in one.  The museum is one of the top aviation museums in the world ( I may be biased being I am a Charter Member).  See www.museumofflight.org for info.  Other interesting things are the Space Needle, Water Front, Pike Place Market, Government Locks, if a nice day a drive across Lake Washington on interstate 520 where going east you view Mt Rainer, Mt Baker and the Cascade Range.  Going West you see the Seattle sky line, Olympic Mountains, U of W and many boats  There are several good museums and if you are a computer nerd you might visit the Microsoft campus in Redmond.

We will be in Hope BC on June 4th and Roberts Roost on June 8.   (God only knows between those dates.)

Please keep in mind that you are on your own each day to see and do whatever turns you on.  So, do your own research between now and Rally Time.  You are welcome to travel with us with the understanding that we have done this trip 4 times, so we will be looking for new things that may not turn out to be exciting. 5:00 PM happy hour each day is mandatory, primarily so we know no one is lost, broken down etc.  It is also a time to share the great things you saw/did during the day and to share plans for the next day.  It is good if a couple of Treks travel together in case there are any problems.  We will depart Redmond WA about June 4 and you are welcome to join us there or on the way to Barkerville.

June 9,10,  Meet at Barkerville BC.  51 miles east of Quesnel on Hwy 26. (No H/U)

Lowee Camp Ground.  There are no hook ups here, so come prepared.   Barkerville (included in Rally) is a very well-restored historic gold mining town staffed with costumed guides.  You can also rent costumes there.  We will review our final travel plans in detail here, plus get acquainted, etc.  We will visit the town at 9:30 on the 10th beginning with an escorted town tour.

Happy hour at 6:00PM, with pot luck heavy hors d’oeuvres. (HAPPY HOURS ARE A MUST ATTEND).

June 11/ 12:  120 miles to South Park RV camp Ground in Prince George.  MP 268.6: 

You are on your own here.  There are many things to do and see in Prince George, so consult your Mile Post for those of interest to you.  June 12 brekky is hosted by Tweedie & Hasman.  Tweedie knows how as they did it 2007.  Happy Hour 5:00 PM

June 13/ 14:  245 Miles (sorry about that) to Dawson Creek, Tubby’s RV Park  (Full H/U) 

On the right as you enter Dawson Creek    June 14 Brekky is hosted by Beers & Pierce

Dawson Creek is Mile Post “0” of the Alaska Highway so get pictures.  Hopefully, a group picture, at the Mile post “0” Monument. Visitor Center is a must-do museum.  Also see Pioneer Village & Gardens.  Some may go fishing Moberly Lake, which is a local prime fishing place.

June 15: 159 miles to Sikanni River Campground at MP 159.4  

We have 8 electrical H/U and 2 dry camp sites.  Last to arrive get dry sites.

            MP DC17.3  Exit east for loop road on old Alaska Hwy. Re enters Hwy 97 at MP20.9  Beers plan to do this

June 16:  143 miles to Ft Nelson,  West End RV Camp, MP 283. (Full H/U): Get an early start, as morning is best time to see animals and will provide more time in Ft Nelson.  MP DC160  See drunken forest to West. MP DC 168.5 Sikanni Chief Falls. Toads Only for 10.5 miles.  .9 walk to falls.  MP DC 278.4 Trapper’s Den, MP DC280  Ye Olde Quilt Shop, at  Ft.  Nelson Heritage Museum, Phoenix Theatre

June 17:  194 miles to Liard River Hot Springs,  Hot Springs Lodge & Camp, MP477.7 (EW H/U)

            MP DC335.7  Turn out with great views

            MP DC 357.5     Stop for cinnamon rolls at Tesla River Services & Camp Ground. An interesting old structure and collection of stuff.  Also fish the Telsa.

            MP DC 436.6   Muncho Lake very beautiful colors when sun is shining.  Maybe fish at 437.7?  Enjoy the beautiful and famous Liard Hot Springs (not included in Rally) and watch for bears. Rainbow falls is nice

 June 18:  136 miles to Watson Lake Downtown RV Park, MP613. (Full H/U)

            MP DC 585  Hyland river for fishing??  MP 618 is Teeter Creek with trail to a falls.

            MP 630 is Smith River Falls.

            Highlights at Watson Lake are the Sign Post Forest (find the “Entering Black Diamond” sign we posted in 2002) & The Northern Lights Center June 18, 8:00PM (included in Rally) Bring a sign to post from your chapter, town, etc.

June 19/20:   164 miles to Teslin, Yukon RV and Motel. (EW H/U)

            MP 698 is the Continental Divide, beautiful scenery of Cassiar Mountains, largest drainage system in North America,  MP 776 north side of Nisutlin bridge pullout, scenery, many birds.  MP 779.1 Tlingit Heritage Center, great little Indian Museum. We will be here two nights, to visit Teslin, George Johnson Museum and do some fishing.

 June 21/ 22:  100 miles to Whitehorse,  Hi Country RV Park:  Full H/U)

            MP 836, 10-15” grayling,  MP 881.7 Miles Canyon-1.7 mile hike is beautiful

            Yukon Beringia  Interpretive Center 2:00 PM, 6/21/11 (included in rally), SS Klondike Sternwheeler, Sam Mc Gee’s Cabin, Early American Log Church, two story log house, great brewery, etc.

June 23 & 24:  244 miles to  Mayo,  Bedrock Motel.  (No H/U) 

Still trying to find a place to stop night of 6/23.  At Alaska Hwy MP895 turn North on Klondike Hwy #2  This is a dry camp in a pasture.  We will do a “toad” side trip of 74 miles to the very old mining town of Keno the 24th.  Museum of old mining history, small café and a bakery.  Also a beautiful drive to top of mountain where there are old mining buildings and beautiful mountain flowers,

             MP 20.3,   Mom’s is a great stop for brekky; Sourdough bread & pancakes.  You need to go to the end of the road, turn around and park at side of this single lane dirt road, so get off to the side as far as possible.  There is only room for 6 people inside but there is some outside seating and don’t be in a hurry.  Lake LaBarge (mentioned in poem “Cremation of Sam McGee”) has trout, grayling and northern pike.

“THE NORTHERN LIGHTS HAVE SEEN QUEER SIGHTS,  BUT THE QUEEREST THEY EVER DID SEE, WAS ON THE NIGHT ON THE MARGE AT LAKE LABARGE, WHERE I CREMATED SAM MC GEE”,  By Robert W. Service.

            MP 102: Carmack’s Tago Cho Hudson Interpretive Center (small but excellent) MP 116.3 Five Fingers Rapids are awesome on Yukon River.  MP 125:  good photo place for Yukon River.

June 25,26,27:  143 Miles to Dawson city.  (MP 323) Gold Rush Campground (EW H/U)

            MP 226.4, Moose Creek Lodge is a “must visit place”, MP 286.1, Tintina Trench, largest earth fault in North America.  Gold Rush Campground is in town so you can walk to everything.

            There are many things to do and see in Dawson City.  And don’t miss the Can Can shows, museum, Robert Service cabin, leaning buildings, etc.  We are working on a flight to Inuvik and over the Arctic Ocean???? Listen for the Ravens communicating in the camp ground.  On the evening of the 27th we will take the ferry across the Yukon to the Provincial Park .  This will give us an early start to Chicken.

June 28,29,30:  109 miles to Chicken Alaska, Gold Camp MP 110 (EW H/U)

            MP 2.9,  Dawson City overlook which is a “Must Visit”,  This road has fantastic scenery, is narrow dirt with many RVs and trucks so drive carefully and defensively.  Leaving early will make this drive much nicer, and less on-coming traffic.   MP 64.1 Turn out with big sign “ The Top Of The World Highway”.  MP 66.1 , is the Alaska border so have your passport, etc., ready.  MP78.8 Intersection with Alaska route 5. Turn left toward Tetlin Junction. This is MP 95.7 of route 5.  MP 86.1 see the old Jack Wade #1 Dredge.  MP 66-6 turn off to Chicken where we stay at the Gold Camp.  This is a small camp and there are two other caravans there while we are so it will be cozy and we may not all have hook ups but we will manage.   The town of Chicken consists of three adjoining structures:  a souvenir shop, a tavern and a restaurant,  which has great brekky.  There is a Chicken airport that brings in mail weekly,  weather permitting.  Welcome party, gold panning included on site, optional gold mine tour, fishing, tour of original mining town, etc.

July 1,2:  81 miles to Tok at TOK RV Village MP1313.4  (Full H/U, vehicle wash, etc)

            MP 35.1 is a beautiful viewing site,  MP 00, intersection with the Alaska Hwy, turn right to Tok RV Village, which is our home for two nights.  This is a large and modern RV park with all the conveniences.  RV wash rack for a small fee, RV repair facility about a block away (need reservations),  major tire store, etc.   After the “Top of the World” drive you will want to clean the air filter here.

July 3:  118 miles to Big Delta, Delta State Historic Park (Rika’s Road House) MP 275.(No H/U)

            MP 265 of Richardson Hwy is Delta Junction, which is the end of the Alaska Highway. Get pictures of the sign post etc.  There is a good museum about the pipe line here.  MP 275 is Rika’s Road House, which is an actual old road house, museum, great selection of furs etc.  There is also a super view of the pipe line crossing the Tanana river.  We stay in the parking lot tonite.

July 4/5/6:  87 miles to Fairbanks, Rivers Edge RV Park, MP 362 (Full H/U)

            MP 332.3,  “Knotty Shop” which specializes in burl wood items that are quite nice. Also a small museum.  Bring the coupon from your Mile Post for free ice cream.  MP 348 is the North Pole and Santa Claus House.  Very commercial but interesting.  Fairbanks: there are all kinds of things to see and do things here.  The Rally includes Riverboat Discovery sternwheeler trip,(7/6, 2:00PM) (captained by a third generation river boat captain).   Trip on Chena and Tanana rivers  include  a Alaskan Native summer hunting and fishing  camp, with talks and displays of sled dog training, leather and bead work, furs, Native hunting ways, etc., and much more.  Nothing is for sale at the camp or on the boat; some snacks and drinks sold on the boat.  There’s a very nice shop for Alaskan stuff on the dock.  This will be a highlight of your trip.   You will want to visit “Pioneer Park” which is the Fairbanks Historic District, and the Farmer’s Market on Wednesday.  The U of Alaska “Museum of the North” is awesome and a must see.  July 4th is Bob’s Birthday so we celebrate with a potluck, Cooper, Tweedie in charge as they have done it before.

July 7/8:  124 Miles to Denali Grizzly Bear RV Park, MP F 124 of Parks Hwy. (Full H/U)

            MP F58,  Small town of Nenana, Located at the junction of the Nenana and Tanana rivers.  This is where the international Nenana Ice Classic is held.  People from all over the world bet on when the ice will break up.  Unusual old, small and beautiful St Marks Church.  July 8, 8:00AM Denali Park eight hour hosted bus tour (included in rally)  through the park, where hopefully you will see wildlife , ie: grizzly, caribou, mountain goat, eagle, etc.  Bring snacks and drink as there are none available in the park.  You might even see Mount McKinley. Hopefully, Wendy will be our tour guide again.

July 9:  182 miles to Big Lake Alaska State Park. At MP F305.7 turn right and follow signs to North Camp Ground.  Get an early start.  (No H/U)

Bob’s past sister-in-law, Janet and husband Lee Van Buskirk will be our host for a real Alaska family experience at their beautiful home on Big Lake.  Lee is a master chef when it comes to deep fried halibut and baby back ribs.  We will be joined there by their family and neighbors.  We provide the beer, wine, salads, appetizer veggies.

July 10/11/12:  49 Miles to Anchorage Ship Creek Landing RV Park  (Full H/U)

Walking to fishing, Ulu Knife Factory, down town Anchorage, etc.  Good place to purchase souvenirs cheaper, as many places competing for business.  Also, bus transportation available.  Reindeer hot dogs from street cart are wonderful.  Must see:  Old Courthouse Museum,   Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska Native Heritage Center, (10 minutes east of town, or take free shuttle from town).

July 13/14, 99 miles to Cooper Landing,  Russian River NFSC (no hook ups)

As we leave Anchorage, we will be travelling along Cook Inlet where the scenery is awesome and wild life abounds.  “This will be an Enjoy the Scenery Day”.  Cooper is a very small community, about a mile from our camp that caters to fisher people.  There is a gas station and restaurant also.  I caught a 22” rainbow on my fly rod just down the bank from the camp but it is “Catch & Release” so didn’t get to taste it.  The salmon should be running when we are there and you will see shoulder to shoulder fisher people.  This is a place where you relax and enjoy nature.  We will be fishing here so you non-fish people get to entertain yourselves.

July 15,16,17:  53 miles to Kenai,  Beluga RV Park (full H/U)

This is a very beautiful setting where the Kenai River meets the Cook Inlet.  We are on a 200’ high bluff looking down at the river and inlet.  Alaskan residents are allowed to net salmon here.  Amount is based on family size, and it is interesting to watch.  Kenai and Soldotna are interesting small towns.  The fisher folks will go to Soldotna to catch salmon.  Some of us will be doing a fly in fishing trip and Kenai river float fishing tripPeggy will have some ideas for the non-fishers.

July 18/19:  120 Miles to Homer. Homer Spit Camp Ground (electrical w/local w & d available.

The drive south is beautiful with mountains, volcanoes, glaciers, etc.  Ninilchick is an old  Russian village, with old Russian church, etc.  Beach area has clamming. Win has arranged a halibut fishing trip from here.  In 2002, Bob caught 13 halibut in one day.  The limit is two and we kept just the 45 pounder and had it sent home. In 2007, fishing wasn’t as good but we all made a catch.  Homer is a very interesting small town on the Homer Spit.  Many interesting shops, old tavern etc. Peggy has arranged a ferry ride to Halibut Bay, an old fish camp/artists’ colony.  Island bird sanctuary also.

July 20/21/22:  214 Miles to Seward, City Camp which is right on the water. (EW H/U)

Sea Life Center (included in rally) is one of the best sea life museums we have seen. Kenai Fjords cruise 7/21, 8:00AM (included in rally) will offer whales and glaciers & lunch.  Exit glacier is about 10 miles north of town.

July 23:  80 miles to Portage Glacier, Williwaw Forrest Service Camp. (No H/U)

This is a beautiful location where you look up into Explorer, Middle and Byron glaciers.  Interesting glacier museum or you can take the ptarmigan tour boat right up to the Portage glacier where you might see it calving into the lake.  Just lay back and relax or “go catch fish”.

July 24;  220 miles to Glennallen, Tolsona Wilderness RV Camp. MP A170, HWY 1 (EW H/U)

      MP 1185 Rest area has beautiful view across valley to glaciers.  This is a very beautiful drive so have camera ready.  We are camped right on the river.

July 25/26: 126 miles to Valdez.

Bayside RV Park this is a very beautiful drive with Glaciers, rivers, Alaska Pipe Line, fishing stops, etc.  A lot of Alaska Earthquake history here and Indian history, pipeline terminal, etc..

July 27/28:  105 miles to Copper Center, Klutina Salmon Charters

A lot of history back to 1898 in two museums.  This is the home of the Copper River Salmon you pay dearly for.  WIN has arranged fishing here. This is the peak salmon week so fishing should be wonderful.

July 29: 24 miles to Gakona, Copper River RV Park  (E, H/U) 

We need to make an early start as we  will do a toad trip up Richardson Hwy to Isabelle Pass today, back south to Denali Hwy and west to McLaren Summit, and return.  About 200 miles. Maybe dinner at the old coach house.  There is river fishing from here also if some may want to fish as opposed to sight seeing.  Prices are in the $300.00 range and fill early so let me know ASAP if you have an interest.

July 30: 130 miles to Tok RV Village, (Full H/U)

The Tok cut off road is full of frost heaves so slow down and enjoy the scenery.  Tok is just an overnight stop over.

July31:  180 miles to White River RV Camp (No H/U)  

This is a very interesting down to basic site.  However the proprietor is very colorful and will take you on nature walks. Also has several WW ll vehicles.  There is also fishing and a small museum.

August 1:  Haines Junction, FAS Station RV (EW H/U)

        MP 1093, Burwash Landing see the Historical Museum

Haines Junction has some interesting structures, including a WWll Quonset hut, now the Catholic Church, administered by two Nuns, etc. See the visitors center.

August 2/3/4/5:  152 miles to Haines, Hitchup RV Park. (EW H/U)

The drive to Haines is fantastic with lakes, glaciers.  We saw a grizzly and two cubs along the road in 2007.  You may see grizzlies at the bridge as you enter town catching salmon.

        MP HJ38.1 is interesting Indian Village

You can take a high speed boat to Juneau from here on a day trip. There is a lot of Alaska history in Haines with two museums, eagles and a great camp site.  If we are lucky Win & Betty may provide a crab feed again??????  A Fast Ferry Trip to Skagway  the Skagway narrow gauge train trip with nice views of the old miner trails, very high wooden trestles, tunnels, etc and the Fast Ferry from Haines are included in the Rally on Aug 4, 9:ooAM Ferry. Skagway is the place where the gold seekers got off ships and started their overland trek to Dawson City.  The town has been restored to that time and is very interesting.  It is also a huge tourist trap, as all the cruise ships visit here .   There are two museums depicting the gold rush days, etc.

August 6:  153 miles to Haines Junction, FAS station 

73 mile dirt road to Indian village a possibility.  Basically an overnight stop.

August 7:  158 miles to Johnson Crossing, MP-DC 836:  Full H/U 

Noted for cinnamon buns and fishing but basically an overnight stop

August 8:  219 miles to Nugget City, Baby Nugget RV Park, MPDC627  (Full H/U)

This is the last stop before entering the Cassiar, so fuel up, etc.  We might run into Watson Lake for supplies.

August 9/10:  141 Miles to Waters Edge RV Park. (No Hookups) MP AH 140  (No H/U)

Cassiar Mountain Jade Store is at MP AH 75.2 and this is a “Must Visit”  They have a huge selection of carved jade items at good prices.  See your mile post for details.

Camp is on Dease Lake and fish from their dock.  On the 10th we will do a 140 Mile side trip up to Telegraph Creek. This is a very narrow, hilly (up to 20%) curvy road, so we will be taking it very slow and easy.  There is a café in Telegraph for lunch or we might take our own.  I am told this is a very beautiful and scenic drive.   MP56.8 Indian Village, buy smoked salmon.  See http://explorenorth.com/library/roads/tel-ck-photos-rd.html.  We will consult with ranger prior to making this journey.

August 11:  155 Miles to Bell ll Crossing, Bell II Lodge, MP AH 295 (Full H/U)

AH216:  Watch for grizzly with cubs, AH 223 Kinaskan Prov. Park for Rainbow.  AH 261.9 Road to Quinn Lake for Dolly & Rainbow.

August 12/13:  100 miles to Hyder, Alaska and Rainey Creek RV Park, hook ups are EW with on site dump.  Turn off Cassiar HWY at MP-AH 352.6 to the West.

On the 13th we will do a side trip to Salmon Glacier.  There are many interesting things to do and see in Hyder/Stewart.  Be sure to have fish & chips at the old bus in Hyder.  Super Grizzly viewing place.

August 14th.  All good things must come to an end and this is that time for the 2011 NWTFC Alaska 2011 Rally.  If you are interested in doing an inland passage Alaska Ferry trip you might consider leaving the Trek at Prince Rupert for a week or two while you ferry to Ketchikan, Juneau, etc.  On the Ferry you can tent on the deck or get a small cabin which has all the conveniences albeit quite cozy.  This is a very beautiful trip and we found accommodations in cities to be reasonable.  You will have to check Alaska Ferry for schedules etc.

We plan a very leisurely trip to Kitwanga and Native reserve of Gitwangak (some of finest authentic totem poles in area), and then along Hwy 16 East, stopping at k’san Village, then on to enjoy whatever else we find along the way. You are welcome to travel with us if you wish.

We will be in Port Townsend WA for a NWTFC rally on August 24th.  There is also a Monaco Rally in Albany OR, Aug 30-Sep 1 that we may attend.

If you have suggestions or questions, send an email or call Peggy at 206-406-3253.

Before the Trip

Preparing the Trek:  Have a reputable RV shop go over your Trek to make sure there are no weak areas.  Have a complete service done.  Make sure they check hoses and belts and that they know you are going to Alaska.  If tires are over six years old, replace them.  We carry an unmounted spare as you may not be able to find a match if you destroy a tire.  On the 2007 rally no one had a tire problem.  If not protected the front end will get rock chips from on coming traffic so you might protect it.   Plan on replacing windshields when you get home. If not, it is a bonus.  Have 2-3 quarts of oil,  replacement air filter or cleaning kit if you have a serviceable filter.  If you have Auto Park brake we recommend you have  replacement switches.  If towing,  clean and lubricate your tow bar and bring cleaning supplies.  Make sure your toad braking is working.

Clothing:  Be prepared for all kinds of weather from tank top to parka.  In 2002 we found ourselves in a snow blizzard on July 3.  There are many hiking opportunities so be prepared.  Most camp sites have laundry facilities.

Fuel:  Gas and diesel are quite available but keep tank above ½ if at all possible.  Stations in remote areas have been known to run out of fuel.  For planning purposes we use $5.00 per gallon and hope we do better.  Rally is 4,898 miles.

Roads:  Will be from 60 MPH highways to 5 MPH construction dirt pot holes.  Generally the roads are black top and in pretty good condition.  We plan to see about 200 miles of dirt/ gravel road.  In Alaska construction areas we will be driving through it, not detour like you often see in the lower 48.  A couple areas will have significant frost heaves where you just need to slow down.  Toad side trips will be about 400 miles of dirt/gravel road.

Food:  Is generally available but stock up in the main towns for better selection and prices.  We will have many Pot Lucks.  To support these Peggy brings the crock pot so things can be cooking while we travel.  We need more Brekky people so how about sharing your special Brekky entrée.

Toads:  If you tow a car we recommend the Roadmaster “Defender” skirt type rock protector.  Coopers had a similar skirt on the 2007 trip and they were the only ones with no rock/grinding sand  problems. We have sufficient toads to handle everyone

Insects:  They are there!!! However we had only a few occasions where they were a significant pest.  Bring insect repellant, and medicine for bites.  Insect candles help.  Battery operated fly swatters are great fun, you might consider a hat with mosquito netting.  We spray the screens on the Trek which seems to discourage the little critters.

Animals:   Even a Grizzly with cubs can look very friendly and loving but remember these are wild animals and can be very life threatening.  Even a little begging squirrel’s bite can become a serious problem.  Do not get out of your vehicle to get a better photo opportunity as it could be the last one you ever take.

Communications:  Do not forward mail to Canada as there is no guarantee when it might arrive.  We will be providing recommendations later.  Verizon cell and internet service is available in Canada in some areas but is very expensive unless you have “International Service”.  We use WIFI where available or go to a library.  For telephone we get an International calling card from Costco and use public phones.  In Alaska Verizon cell & internet service are great in most areas.  We have a CB radio in the Trek and a pair of hand held two way radios.  On the 2007 trip we had only one occasion where we had to rely on CB communication.  We arrived at a camp out in the toolies where we had reservations to find it was closed!!

Border Crossing:  Make sure your Passport has a minimum of six months to live.  Travelling with pets, make sure you have all the required shots and paper work.  Some camps say they charge extra for pets but in 2007 none did. You can not take fire arms into the US or Canada. One case of Beer or  1.5 ltr wine or booze.

Emergencies:  We will have emergency numbers for most of the trip.  Make sure you have adequate medications for the entire trip.  If you need help, turn on emergency flashers and honk horn a couple time.  If you have first aid/ medical training please let us know just in case a need arises.  Harry Mc Cain is our EMT chair person. If you have potential medical challenges , let Harry know.

Fishing:  You are responsible for your fishing license requirements and license are not included in your fishing reservations.   We plan to catch some huge fish so we have arranged for our daughter to receive those we ship south and store them in her freezer for us.  You might consider a similar arrangement.

  Updates from the Travelers

5/21/2011

Howdy Alaska Travelers:

Those of you traveling up the West Coast- and have time to visit Seattle:   On May 25-30 the Museum of Flight is hosting the “Cascade War Birds Fly In” where several WW ll planes will be on display and for the right price you can get a flight in one.  The museum is one of the top aviation museums in the world ( I may be biased being I am a Charter Member).  See www.museumofflight.org for info.  Other interesting things are the Space Needle, Water Front, Pike Place Market, Government Locks, if a nice day a drive across Lake WA on interstate 520 where going east you view Mt Rainer, Mt Baker and the Cascade Range.  Going West you see the Seattle sky line, Olympic Mtns, U of W and many boats  There are several good museums and if you are a computer nerd you might visit the Microsoft campus in Redmond.

We will be in Hope BC on June 4th and Roberts Roost on June 8.   God only knows between those dates.

Looking forward to a great experience with you all

Bob & Peggy

6/11/2011

The Alaska 2011 rally is now in Prince George, BC with 8 Treks. Pick Up the Coopers in Dawson City Monday and Tweedies later on.  Barkerville was a big hit with all travelers.  No major problems so far and camaraderie among the group is great.

Bob

6/13/2011

8 of our ten travelers are now at Prince George and heading Dawson Creek today with a stop in Chetwind for the National chain saw championships. Cooper will join us at Dawson Creek.

No major Trek problems. A battery cable problem and David’s air APB system is still questionable but we are on the road.

Gas is $1.30 per Ltr, but the price of oil dropped this morning so maybe some relief is coming.

Bob

6/20/2011

We are in Teslin, YK.  The George Johnson, a Klinget Indian, museum is wonderful.  Three of our guys went charter fishing bringing home 5 huge fish which I BBQ’d for our group dinner.  How Great it is.  The motel has a museum of northern animals which is also very well done.  Two huge eagles came and salvaged the fish cleaning refuse, leaving morsels for the seagulls.

Off to Whitehorse YK tomorrow.

Bob

7/2/2011

We are now in Tok Alaska getting Treks and toads cleaned up after many miles of dirt roads as we traversed the Top Of The World Highway.  Some

minor mechanical issues but nothing that is stopping us.

Everyone had a wonderful time in Dawson City with Jack London and Robert Service programs, a super museum depicting the late 80’s gold mining etc.  The evening took us to Diamond Tooth Gertie’s for the Can Can shows where several of our travelers were called on to participate making it much fun.   Chicken is always a favorite place for Gold Panning and a visit to one of the mines.  Had a great Pot Luck here and the camp owners provided desert and info on the area.

Did you know that Alaska is geographically the largest state, has the highest USA mountain (Mt McKinley) largest city in area (Yakitat) is the only place in the world where bears and moose outnumber people.

Coming off the Top Of The World Highway onto black top of the Alaska highway was very nice.  Changed the itinerary so we will go directly to Fairbanks tomorrow for a four night stay.

Tonight is musical entertainment provided by the camp ground.  It was super in 2007 and we are told it is even better now.

Bob

7/13/2011

The NWTFC Alaska 2011 rally is now at Russian River Alaska. Fairbanks is always an exciting stop with River Boat Discovery, U of Alaska Museum, Historic Town with 4th of July celebration, great birthday party for Bob.  An eight hour bus tour through Denali Park provided beautiful scenery, viewing of Mountain Sheep, several Grizzle Bears,  Caribou, moose, etc.

Then to the Vanbuskirk place on Big Lake where sister in-law Janet and husband Lee parked all ten Treks at their place, provided deep fried halibut, BBQ salmon and ribs, power boat, hot tub and jet ski for our use and many stories of their very active Alaska wilderness life style.

On to Anchorage for great shopping for souvenirs, museums, earthquake history, Alaska ULU Shop, etc.

We are now at Cooper Landing, AK where we plan to start catching those wonderful Alaska fish.  This is a beautiful out back site and we have been told that there are grizzle bears with cubs in the area. We are on the Russian river (with Rainbow) and it joins the Kenai river (with Salmon) about 1/4 mile down stream.

Tonight is campfire night with s’mores, etc.